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Gael Garcia Bernal to be recognized for contributions to film at upcoming Guadalajara festival

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Gael Garcia Bernal, one of Mexico’s most bankable film stars and a favorite in Hollywood, is to be honored at the upcoming International Film Festival in Guadalajara for his contributions to cinema.

Garcia Bernal, star of films such as ‘The Motorcycle Diaries,’ ‘Y Tu Mama Tambien,’ ‘Babel’ and ‘Amores Perros,’ is to be the recipient of the Guadalajara Prize, which recognizes the contributions of a Latin American to international cinema.

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The film star isn’t just a pretty face -- Garcia Bernal is also the co-founder of the documentary film festival Ambulante with his close friend and fellow actor Diego Luna. Ambulante just finished its fourth run in Mexico and has traveled to many parts of the world, including the United States, Britain, Ireland and Cuba.

The statement from the Guadalajara film festival (pdf) commends Garcia Bernal for his ‘tireless concern for films,’ adding, ‘Gael Garcia Bernal is the executive producer along with Diego Luna of Canana Films, a company founded by Pablo Cruz with the goal of bolstering Latin American production and lending support to new filmmakers. Films such as ‘Como Voy a Explotar,’ by Gerardo Naranjo, ‘Sin Nombre,’ by Cary Fukunaga, and ‘Sólo Quiero Caminar,’ by Agustin Diaz are part of this company’s productions.’

Well done Gael, but it’s hard to see why Luna isn’t getting the prize too, since he is commended for many of the initiatives he’s done jointly with his pal.

Former recipients of the Guadalajara prize include Mexican director Guillermo del Toro (2007) and musical composer Gustavo Santaolalla (2008).

-- Deborah Bonello in Mexico City

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